Being a pastor can be lonely, but that doesn’t mean they need to be alone.
That’s one of many messages that John Ford shared through his wise words, his humble life, and his humor, according to those who served with and were served by him.
“When my worship pastor husband (who is also named John) and I entered a painful season in our ministry, my parents suggested that we reach out to John and Kathy to see if they would be able to mentor/counsel us through their ministry with Paraclete,” said Amanda Cronin. “I do not know how we would have navigated that season without them.”
Ford passed away this week after battling a long illness.
“John was a beloved member of the Paraclete community,” said Glen Volkhardt, Paraclete’s CEO. “His gentle spirit was a comfort to many—within Paraclete and beyond.”
Ford is a native Texan who met his wife, Kathy, at the University of Texas. They married in 1980 and had two children. They enjoyed a long ministry together. Ford has served as a Young Life volunteer, youth pastor, pastor, and chaplain for Lamb’s Tale Ministries. The Fords joined Paraclete in 2017 where they’ve continued to come alongside ministry leaders by being a safe place for others to share both their personal and ministry struggles.
“John was always willing to share from his own experiences in ways that were, at times, self-deprecating and humorous, but always grounded in humility and an absolute trust in God’s love and sovereignty,” said Cronin. “He (and Kathy!) consistently pointed us to Jesus, even while offering practical wisdom for how to navigate and think about the things we were walking through with our church.”
Ford’s battle with cancer has been another opportunity for him to lovingly encourage others who are suffering.
“He volunteered for a cancer treatment program initiated from a Houston medical facility a few years back and assisted in such a meaningful way that he was ‘on call’ to respond to others who were going through similar cancer issues and treatments,” said fellow Paraclete associate Larry Rus. “He was always open to encourage others and to help others on the same journey.”
Often that has meant keeping a sense of humor.
“When we visited them, we chuckled to see the interest and effort given by John to collect vehicle memorabilia with FORD shown on the item to add to his collection,” Rus said.
The memorial service will be Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. at Hillside Fellowship; 7055 US Hwy 281 S – Spring Branch, TX 78070 with reception immediately following across the highway at MyCBC; US 281 N – Spring Branch. The service will be livestreamed.
For more, see this beautiful obituary.